Sharper than ever, the Audi RS 3 is back after 18 months away

SHARPER than ever before, one of Australia’s favourite hot hatches and sedans, the Audi RS 3, is back. Featuring the legendary 2.5-litre 5-cylinder power plant it’s famous for, the Sportback and sedan models have hit the showrooms.

The visceral performance of the Audi RS 3 Sportback and sedan is defined by an iconic 294kW engine that has a heritage dating back to the legendary Sport quattro S1 Group B rally car of the early 1980s.

Absent from the Australian line-up for around 18 months due to delays brought about by the implementation of new WLTP homologation rules in Europe, the RS 3 and its active baffle exhaust system, can now be ordered from Audi Australia.

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The RS 3 engine develops 480Nm of torque and includes advanced technology such as an aluminium crankcase, dual injection, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) and a high-pressure 1.35 bar (19.6psi) turbocharger.

The RS 3 range offers exceptional performance and can sprint from 0-100km/h in a phenomenal 4.1 seconds, returning 8.5-litres/100km fuel economy.

The distinct exterior design of both new RS 3 models features the ‘quattro’ logo, sitting beneath a clean, modern Singleframe grille, while larger intakes feed more air to satisfy the cooling demands of the machinery that sits behind them.

The thin, precise slivers of light projected by the LED headlights and taillights complement the car’s progressive overall design, complete with metallic paint as standard. It also utilises a 7-speed dual clutch S tronic transmission, delivering lightning fast shifts.

The tuning of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is fully integrated into the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, where the torque delivery is distributed quickly and precisely via an electro hydraulic multi-plate clutch.

The RS tuned calibration automatically sends more drive to the rear wheels during dynamic driving, to ensure ideal cornering balance. The Audi RS 3 Sportback and sedan also features RS sport suspension and Audi magnetic ride as standard.

In dynamic mode, the Audi magnetic ride resists braking and cornering forces on the car’s attitude, heightening agile and responsive handling. Black eight-piston brake calipers clamp 370mm ventilated rotors at the front of the RS 3, with 310mm discs at the rear.

The combination provides powerful stopping performance inside 19-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in 235/35 tyres. Both variants bring a host of advanced driver assistance safety systems as standard as well.

These include side assist, active lane assist, and adaptive cruise control with rear cross traffic assist, with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating for the A3 Sportback range on which the RS 3 is based.

An extraordinary list of standard features includes high beam assist, Audi virtual cockpit with 12.3-inch digital display and specific RS functions, MMI Navigation plus with 7-inch MMI Touch, and RS sport front seats in fine Nappa leather upholstery.

A Bang & Olufsen sound system, with 14-speakers including a sub-woofer (705W), adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, wireless phone charging, DAB+ digital radio, Audi parking system plus, and tyre pressure monitoring, are also included.

In addition, the RS 3 will offer an exclusive Carbon edition for an extra $3,400, equipped with a range of black gloss styling elements to enhance its sporty characteristics, along with carbon fibre mirror housings and a panoramic glass sunroof.

Gloss anthracite black 19-inch Audi Sport wheels, blacked out logos, privacy glass and inlays in carbon twill are also added. On sale now, the RS 3 Sportback and RS 3 sedan range starts at $83,800 plus on-roads.

2020 Audi RS 3
Inside the 2020 Audi RS 3
Mick Glenn
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.


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